Botanical family: Ginkgoaceae
Parts used: Leaf
Main active constituents: Amino acids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, terpenoids
Actions: Neuroprotective properties, circulatory problems in the elderly, especially cerebral insufficiency and consequent cognitive effects, peripheral circulatory impairment.
Good for: Memory deficits, disturbances in concentration, dizziness, tinnitus, headache. Improvement in pain free walking (intermittent claudication)
Available forms: Capsule, tablet, liquid extract.
Ginkgo is the world’s most ancient tree, originating 200 million years ago. Other names include fossil tree, maidenhair tree and silver apricot.
History of Ginkgo biloba
There have been many hundreds of scientific studies conducted on proprietary standardised extracts of ginkgo in the past 30 years. Research conducted by W. Schwabe producer of the proprietary extract EGb 761 is a good example of a phytomedicine that must be standardised in order to deliver the intended benefits; the scientific literature does not support the clinical benefits of the dosage forms of crude ginkgo leaf or other concentrated unproven extracts made from the leaf. The dry extract is pharmaceutical, prepared to a 35-67:1 ratio of dried leaves in the final extract; standardisation is carried out to 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones.
Current uses of Ginkgo biloba
PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE
Double-blind trials with matched patient groups have demonstrated that the standardised extract is clinically effective. Significant improvements in pain-free walking time and in maximal walking distance were achieved.
CEREBRAL INSUFFICIENCY (obstruction of one or more arteries to the brain)
Results from clinical trials show that there was a statistically significant regression of major symptoms including vertigo, headache, tinnitus, short-term memory, vigilance and mood disturbance. Memory has also been found to be significantly improved compared to placebo.
How to take Ginkgo biloba120-240 mg of standardised dry extract in liquid or solid pharmaceutical form oral intake, given once daily or in divided doses.
Ginkgo can be taken with other supplements.
Ginkgo can be taken continuously.
WatchpointsThere is the possibility that the effect of platelet aggregation inhibitors may be enhanced as result of taking ginkgo
(PPIs, NSAIDs, anticonvulsants). Always consult a healthcare professional for advice.